Ensuring you have the correct patient

It is essential to ensure that you have correctly identified the patient when undertaking clinical activity within OPERA and when uploading any files or attachments from your local system.

Ensuring correct patient identification in OPERA

We offer the PDS lookup to ensure that you have correctly identified your patient using their NHS number or other demographics.  This is the most effective means of identifying a patient.

Find a patient

Before adding a new patient, please ensure that the patient is not in the database.  You can search using Surname, Forename or NHS number, the search criteria can be changed by hovering your mouse over 'Surname' which is the default search criteria.  For example:

As the database builds up to have a lot of patients with the same search criteria, you will need to order one of the columns to help you locate the patient, e.g. if you search surname then click on the top of 'Forenames' column to order alphabetically. You may need to then click through different pages to find patient using the blue arrows located higher up on the screen. If you cannot locate a patient then please use the NHS PDS Lookup service to add a new patient.  Press the NHS PDS Lookup button which you can find on the top right of the screen:

Import a patient from NHS PDS System through Quick Patient Add

We recommend that you use the NHS PDS lookup whenever you can.  Simply complete the details as shown below, minimum criteria is surname, gender and Date of Birth, more common surnames will require forename, there is no need to complete the postcode unless a patient is not found:

If you are unable to locate the patient using the NHS lookup system please ensure you have a patient details correct and add more or less search criteria and try again, if not possible to fid then press the Manually Add Patient button and complete the following form.

Once a patient has been imported or created then you can begin to allocate clinical activity. 

Ensuring correct patient uploads from your Local System

There are times when you will need to select local files to upload to OPERA. It is essential that these represent the patient that you are referring.  You should consider a local SOP for this process that includes:

  • Labelling files with patient identifier such as NHS number
  • Creating an upload folder for specific referrals and placing files in this folder prior to upload
  • Double check the thumbnails that are produced when uploading files

If you make a mistake and upload an incorrect file to a referral following submission - please contact the OPERA help desk.

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